Durango Fire & Rescue's Proposed Impact Fees

The Durango Fire Protection District provides fire protection, emergency medical service, hazardous material mitigation, fire prevention and public education along the U.S. Highway 550 corridor from the New Mexico state line north into San Juan County – including the city of Durango and surrounding unincorporated areas.

This wide-ranging service area has experienced 5 percent average annual population growth between 2011-2015, with an average of more than 200 new residential units and 130,000 square feet of non-residential development each year. This growth has produced a corresponding 7 percent annual increase in call volume to the Durango Fire Protection District. This steadily growing demand for service, coupled with a funding stream that falls short of covering operational costs with no mechanism for equipment replacement and capital improvements has challenged the District’s ability to invest in the necessary infrastructure to provide its essential services going forward.

Capital needs

The Durango Fire Protection District receives funding from taxpayers in the Durango Fire Protection District and from a contractual agreement with the city of Durango. The agreement is equivalent to the amount of taxes that would be collected within the city based on the District’s mill rate. The District has no capital funding stream available to ensure that DFPD facilities and equipment are keeping pace with growing demand throughout the far-reaching service area (325 square miles).

Durango Fire Protection District has identified, through an intensive Capital Improvement planning process, that there are $53 million in future capital needs over the next 20 years to ensure that the District is able to operate at current service levels. These capital needs come in the form of station construction and replacement and fire and emergency services equipment replacement. By repairing, replacing and improving fire-fighting equipment and facilities, the DFPD will be able to perform its essential functions that ensure safety in the community.

Click here for DFPD's Capital Improvement Impact Fee presentation.

Impact fees

Durango Fire Protection District is proposing to implement a district-wide impact fee program designed to ensure that new growth in our community helps to pay for the expansion of services needed based on that growth. An extensive study on the need and feasibility of impact fees for the District produced a proposed fee schedule of $1,183 per new residential unit constructed in the district’s service area, and $1.72 per square foot of commercial development. These impact fees will allow DFPD to augment its ability to fund capital improvements at a higher level than the district is currently able to provide. The impact fees are not sufficient to fund the DFPD’s capital improvement plan in its entirety but will help ensure that additional demand for fire protection and emergency services is proportionally supported. Fully implemented, the impact fee program will leave 55% of the District’s future capital needs unfunded, making it necessary for the district to identify other funding streams to assure full fiscal coverage of the plan.

Click for the Impact Fee Support Study

Colorado HB1088 - Signed, 2016


Bill Summary

The bill authorizes the board of a fire protection district to impose an impact fee on the construction of new buildings, structures, facilities, or improvements, including oil and gas wells, on previously improved or on unimproved real property, if the impact fee is:

Reasonably related to the overall cost of the fire protection district's services; and
Imposed in accordance with a fee schedule that is legislatively adopted by the board and that applies to all construction of new buildings, structures, facilities, or improvements.

At least 60 days before imposing the impact fee, a district shall notify in writing overlapping municipalities and counties of their right to comment on the district imposing impact fees.

Click here to download a copy HB1088

Provide input

Durango Fire Protection District is asking for your input on this proposal. Please take a moment to read through the Support Study and provide us your feedback.

There are a number of ways to give input:
DFPD Chief Hal Doughty at (970) 382-6006 or email hal.doughty@durangofire.org or fill out this online survey tool.